Posted in Children

10 months

My dearest, sweet, little Emma Kate,

You are 10 months old baby.  It is nothing short of mind-boggling.  10 months!!  Part of me aches to watch you grow so fast.  Some days I long for that newborn who slept and cooed and watched the world behind those beautiful eyes.  But then the other part of me can’t wait to see you grow.  To watch you accomplish all that you can.  I try to cherish each and every day, even when they seem monotonous.  But they really aren’t.  You learn something new everyday.  You may not be a newborn anymore, but you still watch the world from behind your beautiful eyes and it is fascinating to see you learn.

You are straight up adorable.  That’s all there is to it.  You started singing this month.  Your Grandy and Ash taught you to sing  “la, la, la”.

You do motions to The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and you really wash that spider out!  And the sun comes out with your little arms reaching way up to the top of your beautiful head.  You are all grins too.  You are sure proud of yourself when you do something big like that.

You clap your hands along with “When you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”, and you still love your books.  You’re favorite has always been Pete the Cat–I Love My White Shoes.  Your Grandy bought you a Pete the Cat stuffed doll and your aunt Jo got you Pete the Cat–Rocking My School Shoes and you love reading them with somebody or by yourself.

You’ve learned how to open drawers and cabinets this month and empty them completely out.  Now, you need to learn how to put it all back!

You can say mama, dada, bye-bye, night night, num-num (which means yum yum) and you started saying “Ash” plain as day.  It is adorable!  Now you just say it all day long.  You definitely understand everything we say to you.  When I ask you “Where’s Ash?”  You start looking towards her bedroom here trying to find her.   You can comb your hair and brush your teeth (in a perfect 10 month old way), drink from a cup (with not much spilled down the front), feed yourself with a spoon and fork (when we load it up of course), and give hugs and kisses.

Pulling up has become old hat to you now, and just this week you’ve started standing alone for longer periods– like about 8 seconds.  Might not be sound long, but it is when you’re balancing huh baby?  Or riding a bull, which you will never ever attempt, just so you know.  I just felt like we needed to get that established right here and now.  You walk all around holding on to things, like the couch, the end tables, your crib.  Just like what you’ll do in the swimming pool in a few years.   You love to explore and you climb the porch steps up to the door.

You are a good-natured girl who knows what she wants and doesn’t want.  You don’t let anyone persuade you to do something you don’t want to do, which isn’t fun when getting your diaper changed, but will play an important role when you are a teenager.

You are beautiful, smart, happy, and loved beyond measure.

We take great delight in you, Emmy.  You are our girl!

XOXO,

Mama

Posted in Faith, Family

Change

It seems my life stays in a constant state of adjustment.

Change happens.  There’s no stopping it.

Some changes we create, and some changes just happen and we have no choice but to  hold on with a white knuckle grip.

Although I’d like to be in charge of the change in my life, sometimes I prefer the latter.  That way I can call it God or Fate or Providence or Destiny and in turn I can take no responsibility for the failures or disappointments that may come from it.

We all experience it, and change is not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s perceived as such most of the time, but we must ask ourselves:  really do we want to always remain the same person– in the same situations –working the same job –living in the same house– doing the same old things?

Yes!! Yes this girl screams!  We do!  I do!  It’s much safer there and it doesn’t hurt.

But life just doesn’t work that way.

Over the past two years I’ve come face to face and heart to heart with

  • the death of my dad (grief, tears, sadness, longing)
  • a move to the little trailer house on the prairie (snakes, wind, dust, mice, trains, and yes even Jehovah Witnesses still visit)
  • pregnancy and the birth of my child (joy, tears, pain, guilt, fear)
  • job change for my husband (worry)
  • quitting my job of 12 years to stay home with my baby (dependence, budget, purpose, freedom, happiness)
  • learning how to be a mother ( sleeplessness, selflessness, worry, guilt, time management, joy, exhaustion)

And now, now, another biggie is heading my way.  Another move.  But this time to another town.  In another state.  I haven’t really talked about it because when I talk about it, that makes it real.  I don’t talk about it, not because I’m not excited or I don’t want it to happen, but because I’m afraid.  I don’t talk about it because doing my ostrich impersonation is much easier than recognizing that it really is happening.

But change–it is a comin’.

Soon and very soon, we will be packing up our cares and woe, tossed in with a little happiness and excitement and heading to a new destination.

My husband’s dream is to live in the mountains.  And I guess we aren’t getting any younger.   We’ve sold our little place here in the country, chickens too, and as soon as the buyers little ducklings are in a row, we will know when our last night here will be.

So on this eve of Thanksgiving, with my heart and my head filled with so much worry, trepidation, and fear, that it’s hard to find the excitement, I give thanks to God my Father, the Almighty, Who knows every breath I’ll ever take, Who numbers every hair on my head, Who knows my thoughts before I think them, and my blog posts before I type them, Who did not give me a spirit of fear, but of strength and power; I thank Him for his sovereignty and grace, for His love and providence, for His son and my salvation.  I thank Him for my daughter and my husband, my family and my friends, my health and my freedom to just pick up and move whenever and wherever we choose.  I thank Him for my past and my future, for my hurts and my sorrows, for my joy and my elation, for opportunities granted and doors closed.  For all He has done and for all He is going to do.

Dear friends, please hold me and my family in your prayers as we begin again.

 

 

Posted in Children

Just Because

Just because it’s Tuesday (I think).

Just because she’s 9.5 months old (tomorrow).

Just because she hasn’t pulled her hair bow out or her socks off (yet).

Just because she’s been under the weather and today is the first day in nearly a week that she is back to her old self (almost).

Just because before I know it, she’s going to be walking (or driving) (or both).

Just because she’s adorable (totally).

Just because.

Posted in Uncategorized

Life in the Real World

I have an addiction to Facebook.

Before that I had an addiction to MySpace.

And before that, I had an addiction to different community forums like exercise and teaching ideas where I could converse with others and learn from them.

I guess it’s not the worse addiction you can have, it’s not terribly expensive, but like any addiction it controls my mind and steals my time.

I remember when the internet was invented, yes I do.  I was at my sister’s house, she was showing me around the World Wide Web and it was a confusing mess with its browser buttons and home page.  I remember thinking I would never understand it and why would I even need to.

Then, for me anyway,  computers were for writing college papers and nothing more.  A fancy typewriter that didn’t need correction tape.  There were no such things as digital photos or downloadable music.   We had 35 mm film and a cassette player.  What more could we possibly need?

I have grown to love the internet, in the most unhealthy of ways.  If I counted the hours of my life that has been, dare I say it, robbed by sitting in front of the computer, I would be riddled with guilt.  It is my Encyclopedia  Britannica.  My source of information at my fingertips.  It is my friend finder, connector to others and relationship builder.   And with my blog, it is my voice.

It’s not all bad.  The internet has taught me much.  Where would my brain be without all the useless knowledge with which I’ve filled it?   It has brought me closer to others.  In the last few years of my dad’s life, we grew to know one another  in a deeper, more personal way.  A way in which we never would have experienced if left to our own conversational abilities, of which neither of us are considered stellar.   And I cherish that.  But with the invention of smart phones, the connection to the internet has gone overboard for me.  Even though I want to believe it is enriching my life, I often wonder if it is in reality sucking the life out of me.

Two weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account.  Like an addict, I can say today it has been 14 days since I’ve drunk in Facebook, snorted the comments of others, inhaled the sometimes hateful, sometimes loving, sometimes funny, sometimes snarky remarks and jokes of friends and family.

I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve missed it.  It is the first thing I think about doing when I wake up, and throughout the day I catch myself wanting to write on my wall and cyberstalk others.  But it’s been one of the best things I’ve done as well.  I long for the connections with others, but I tell myself that anyone who gives a rip about me has my number, knows my address, maybe has my email and can find me if they truly want to.  It’s nice to have been missed by a few, but for the most part, I’ve discovered my “friends” are merely “acquaintances”.

Will I be back?  Who’s to say.  I’m working on my real-life relationships instead.  Trying to improve my real-life self and draw meaning from this place called life.

So if you’re reading, thanks for stopping by.

I wish you’d say hi.

I probably miss you.

 

Posted in Animals

The Cat’s Meow

We haven’t had any chicken killings, no wild horse escapades,  nary a snake has snuck up on me of late.   The dogs have been calm, the skunks have been distant, no electrical or water outings to speak of.  Save my 9 month old causing a ruckus, it’s been relatively quiet here at the J & A Chicken Ranch.

The weather is turning cooler, and if you live in the country, inevitably means the mice try to scurry inside.

For the record, me and mice, we don’t jive. I usually keep poison out in little hidey spots and have a trap or two set, but now that our little EK is crawling and nosing around, neither poison nor traps are a good idea.

In case it bears repeating, me and mice, we don’t jive.  So I couldn’t just live with the nasty little varmints.  I knew they were around, being the light sleeper that I am, I could hear them in the night and quite frankly I was just a tad creeped out.  My mother told me she heard that rats ate a baby in New York City once and I just couldn’t bear the thought of mice nibbling on my tot’s ear or at the very least scuttling about throughout the house.

I had to do something, so do it, I did.

I brought home some cats.

Two little kittens were born under my mom’s house about 3 or 4 months ago.  My mom and my niece worked diligently taming the little cuties, feeding them saucers of milk, getting them to come in the house, until they were just almost pets.

One is a little gray and white one that Ashy mistook for a girl and named Flower and the solid black one is name Bandit, Bandi for short.  He’s a bit wilder.

I had to bring Flower out first, as we only had one cat carrier, and couldn’t fit them both in the carrier, much less catch the little black one.  As soon as the door was opened, Flower was MIA.  He took off and I didn’t hear from him for 3 days.  The food was eaten each night, but I wasn’t sure what exactly could be chowing down in his absence.  Finally on the 3rd night, we heard a meow coming from the tree so we knew he was still hanging around.

The next day, I quickly went to my mom’s and got Brother Bandi.  Now this little wiry black kitten is skittish and wild acting, but when the door to the carrier was opened, he just stayed put for a while.  Then he nonchalantly walked around the yard, sniffing around, venturing out of the front yard fence momentarily.  I was pleased to see that he wasn’t going to run and was hoping that he and Brother could reunite shortly.

I sat out and watched the reunion closely as they began mewing at one another.  Slowly the little gray kitten tiptoed off the haystack where he had stayed hidden and they scurried off together running underneath an outbuilding.  I sat on my bucket on that beautiful fall afternoon smiling  at how grand life is.  Then I went in the house.

It wasn’t much later that the quiet, grand life was interrupted with yelps, and barks, and bangs, and growls.  As I ran to peer out the back window, I discovered that Bandi had found his way into the backyard and the two dogs, Drew and Grace, were not appreciating their intruder.  The backyard had turned into a boxing ring with 2 against one and the dogs were winning.  I ran out there screaming and shouting, but our dog Drew will fight to the death and refuses to be called off of anything he has cornered.  The only way was to open the gate and convince them to go outside where Drew could go chase invisible rabbits and dig holes under pipe.

Once the dogs were gone, the little black cat pressed himself against the back screen door, wide-eyed and panting.  His fur was matted and wet from the battle and his heart was pounding.  He stayed there frozen.  I went to him to try to help him, but he ran away and climbed into a bush in the backyard where he stayed perched for at least an hour.

Finally, with EK in her stroller, I got a chair and stood atop to reach up and remove the little fellow.  He quickly hopped down, found his way out of the dog’s backyard territory and has stayed hidden every since.

My mom and Ashy came out that evening after I called and told them the story and were able to woo the frightened little guys out of hiding for a few minutes of reassurance.

Needless to say, the dogs are back in the backyard, one cat stays hidden on top of the stacks of alfalfa, the other stays hidden under an outbuilding.

I don’t think they like their new home much, but on a good note, I haven’t heard from the mice lately.